Council talks capital projects

Even with few state dollars rolling downhill to help municipalities with infrastructure, cities are tasked each year with assembling their capital improvement priorities for the state, and Homer has released its draft list.

Special Projects and Communications Coordinator Jenny Carroll presented this year’s Capital Improvement Plan to the Homer City Council during a work session before their Monday night meeting. The plan lays out future capital improvement projects for the city from 2018 through 2023, listed in three levels of priority. Capital improvements are large projects that cost, at minimum, $50,000 when it’s a city project, are one-time expenditures and “result in a fixed asset” for the city, according to the plan.

Projects that have been started, have funding, or for which funding has been identified include the building of a boat house pavilion and plaza on the Homer Spit, the Homer Medical Clinic expansion, replacing the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the South Peninsula Hospital operating room, and a project with the Homer Police Department to upgrade the city’s radio communication system.

The plan also includes a state legislative request for 2019. The priorities in that request this year are the planned new Homer police station, the construction of a new large vessel harbor north of the existing small boat harbor, additions to the Homer Volunteer Fire Department’s fleet, and updating the city’s Storm Water Master Plan.

“I have updated the project description as far as plans and progress, because that project is currently in flux and trying to … get new traction,” Carroll said. “And so as those plans get made and proposals made, I will update this through … that process.”

The total project cost for the police station is currently listed in the draft plan as ranging from $6 million to $9 million. The plan also lists the amount of funds committed so far by the city — $1.1 million — and the work done on the station so far — $575,00 worth of planning, concept design or public involvement. The draft Capital Improvement Plan is available on the city’s website at cityofhomer-ak.gov/economicdevelopment/draft-2018-2023-capital-improvement-plan.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@homernews.com.

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